Blackberry perfection

Sue Kearney
4 min readAug 20, 2022

I’ve found the perfect place to pick blackberries.

If you’ve never had the chance to eat a sun-warmed blackberry (and a few dozen of its friends), you’ve missed out on a truly yummy and remarkably delightful set of sensations.

You may be wondering what qualifies me to give my blackberry spot 5 out of 5 stars.

I’m a pro, yo.

  • I’ve been picking California blackberries for over 20 years. My sister taught me how. She’d take me to her spots in the Oakland hills.

I wait all year to do this. To stand in the sunshine, popping warm sweetness into my mouth, in a summer moment. Moments to savor.

  • I’ve learned where blackberries grow and how to find them. In Sonoma County where I live, blackberries border most creeks. We’ve got a lot of creeks. I’ve developed eyes for these berries, and can identify them in the winter (not an impressive skill; they’re pretty unique-looking).
Blackberry thorns. Ouch.
Blackberry thorns. Nasty AF and ouch!
  • I’ve got quite the blackberry game — the right tools and the right clothes. Blackberries gonna try to take you out with their sharp AF thorns while they’re staining you with their paint. I wear pants and socks that cover my ankles and a long-sleeve shirt that covers my wrists. Even wearing dark pants and shirts, I‘ll still be scrubbing purple stains from my clothes after I take them off.

This is my second summer in Santa Rosa. I found this spot last year. It’s freaking perfect. 5 stars.

  • Picture a lightly traveled road that’s got vineyard on both sides.
Willowside Road, just north of the creek

The star attraction is the flatness on the west side. On the other side, like most of the roadside blackberries around here, the vines are below the road surface, down a sharply sloped hill. Even with my shoes with good tread, I slip. Slipping and thorns are a terrible combination!

I’ve fallen into the vines trying to navigate those slopes OUCH OUCH OUCH so finding a spot like this spot on Willowside is…

Sue Kearney

I mentor and encourage for women who want more joy and freedom, less stress. More creative flow, less angst. At your age. In your body. In the world as it is.